Howdy! This page is part of a guide to comic books recommended for younger readers (along with some stuff their parents might like as well. This page covers the letter "R", other books are linked to below.
So, come celebrate that groovy, geeky, magical medium that we all grew up on... and share that special sense of wonder with someone smaller and newer than you. By the way, this is a work in progress, and your recommendations are always welcome... )
"Richie Rich, The Poor Little Rich Boy (Harvey Comics Classics, v.2)"
(Dark Horse, 2007)
When I was really, really little, I liked reading Richie Rich, a deliriously goofy capitalist fantasy comic where the main gag was about the insanely lavish ways Richie could use up his endless, uncountable piles of dough. Unlike Disney's miserly Uncle Scrooge, Richie loved to spend his money, and loved to share it with his friends. He had a nemesis, though, a weasel-faced, jealously competitive cousin, Reginald Van Dough, who basically was the equivalent of that other villainous Reggie, over in the Archie books. On a deeper conceptual level, I do think the Richie Rich stories are actually pretty corrosive, blandly feeding into the empty American love of money... But as plain-old comic books, with stories that are innocent and nonviolent, playful and clever (in a nicey-nice kind of way), these are a pretty good option that I'm sure a lot of protective parents will appreciate. Ironically, this edition fell out of print and now sells for obscene amounts of money on the used market... Did Reggie corner the market or something? (B+)
Written and Illustrated by Sara Varon
(First Second Books, 2007)
Otherwise known as "the sad robot book," this heartrending and deceptively simple graphic novel exploes a love affair between an anthropomorphic dog and his/her robot companion. The dog builds the robot from a kit, and they are best friends forever until the day he takes the robot to the beach and leaves it there after it rusts up. The dog feels bad about abandoning his friend and makes one half-hearted attempt to rescue it, but gives up all-too-easily and goes back home, throwing himself into finding new friends to hang out with. The robot, meanwhile, lays immobile and is covered up with sand while still optimistically dreaming that the dog will come back and love him again. Told almost entirely in pictures, with a handful of incidental words, this book has a universal appeal and is okay for younger readers (five and up?) even though the issues of romantic love and betrayal are a bit deeper than the cartoonish art might lead you to believe. Although it is a very sad narrative, the book is filled with beauty and imaginative wonder -- an engaging story that shows the strengths of the comicbook medium. Recommended!
More Comics For Kids >> Letter "S"
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